Pictogram Guide · Mouse over pictogram for definition

Dais cotinifolia, Pompon tree, Pincushion tree, Kannabast

Dais cotinifolia

Pompon tree, Pincushion tree, Kannabast
Family: Thymelaeaceae
Origin: South Africa
Small tree 10-20 ftFull sunModerate waterPink flowersDeciduousAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

The pompon tree is one of the best known and well-loved indigenous trees, tough enough to be used as a street tree and small enough to fit into most gardens. When in flower at Christmas it looks like a giant candy floss, as the tree transforms into a cloud of soft pink balls. The green heads pop open with the many small flowers in tight bunches inside, looking like pink fluff balls. For about three weeks the tree flowers in profusion. The tiny black seeds are formed in the bottom of the little flowers and are ready to collect about month or two after flowering. After flowering, the green cup shaped bracts that held the flowers, become hard and brown, remaining on the tree for many months.

The tree for the garden, fast growing, fairly drought resistant once established and frost hardy. Placing a thick mulch of compost around the base of the tree helps to prevent water from running away, keeps the soil moist and cool, suppresses weed growth and slowly releases nutrients into the soil. Propagation is by semi-hardwood cuttings or by seed sown in spring.

Link to this plant: